When a company is acquired; it tends to bring in problems from their past for you to clean up.

Such was the case of a Windows XP 64bit virtual machine. It would not boot. It would hang during the startup, crash and reboot.

There was no BSOD to trap which was rather odd considering the way XP handled such things so it had to be multiple problems.

The first issue was to try and boot the VM. With a physical machine, you simply booted off the installer CD. Luckily, VMware allows for this by giving you the ability to mount an ISO via the virtual cdrom drive.

One nice thing about the 64bit OS? Didn’t have to load drivers via an flp file as I previously had to do with a 32bit install.

I was able to boot off the cdrom and got into the recovery console. It did show the Windows install which I selected. Once it loaded and gave me a prompt; I ran a chkdsk /r which found a few problems and corrected them.

After that I tried a reboot and got a BSOD which quickly disappeared.

A funny side note: there is a way to slow down the reboot so you can read the message. The Net is full of articles about how to handle this. For a physical setup, this makes sense. However, I found several articles for virtual machine problems. Sometimes in debug mode; people overlook the obvious.  Why not take a screen capture?

When the VM tried to load again and the BSOD appeared; I took a screen capture and found the message stated:

STOP: c0000218 {Registry File Failure}
The registry cannot load the hive (file):
or it's log or alternate.
It is corrupt, absent, or not writable.

I researched this and found some solutions which required many steps and there was a question if this VM was really even needed as the problem had been around for awhile.

The VM needed to be up in order to answer the question. I did find a simple solution which allowed this to happen.

  1. Boot to your CD and choose R (Recovery Console), at the command prompt, type the following:
  2. ren c:\windows\system32\config\software software.old
  3. copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config


This VM did need a reinstall of java and the gpupdate /force needed to be run.

Now the users are reviewing the need of the VM.